Testing Dry Silica Sand for the Army Research Laboratory

South Dakota
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and US Army Research Laboratory

RESPEC conducted research for 5 years to assist the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and US Army Research Laboratory with characterizing the mechanical behavior of dry silica sand that may exist in desert locations where military forces are present. Shallow buried explosives (SBEs) pose a significant threat to US military forces. The ability to predict the time history of the impulsive loads acting on lightweight vehicles and other equipment exposed to SBEs is critical for design purposes.

Hydrostatic compression, triaxial compression, and uniaxial strain tests were performed on dry fine-, medium-, and coarse-grained silica sands to obtain the required inputs for the compaction equation of state (EOS) and MO granular strength model (SM) in Ansys Autodyn® software. In addition, constant mean stress tests were performed on the medium-grained sand to understand the dilational characteristics of granular material.

The data collected include a complete set of mechanical properties for three types of dry silica sand conducted to confining pressures of up to 140 megapascal (MPa). Publicly accessible data that include quasi-static hydrostatic and triaxial compression testing of multiple dry silica sands to pressures of 140 MPa are not available. The data obtained from this research will ultimately be used in designing Humvees for various locations.